Burden on city to ensure new center is topnotch

opinions

July 24, 2013 - 12:00 AM

Now that the city has approved rezoning the 3.8 acres on North Kentucky Street for a senior living center, it’s incumbent city officials ensure the development goes above and beyond being a good neighbor.
That means making the development look as much like a neighborhood as possible, including an attractive layout, ample green space, lots of trees and hidden bays for unloading of food services, etc.
The Dallas-based developers paid a handsome sum for the land, $45,000, which equals to about $11,800 an acre. That’s three times the price for developed lots up in Cedarbrook on North Cottonwood.
They’ll also end up paying about $100,000 in property tax, up from the current $500, once it’s on full tax rolls in 10 years’ time.
The $5 million development will bring more jobs to the area starting immediately.
The upscale development — units will rent for $2,800-$3,000 a month —  will cater to a clientele accustomed to a lifestyle of means, ensuring the neighborhood will hold its value.
ON THE FLIP side, the neighbors to the south, especially, have a right to complain only because since forever they’ve had the length of their back yards up against an empty lot.
Had it been developed at the same time of Buchanan Street, they wouldn’t have known the pleasures of a starry night out their back doors, or the buffer zone the extra space has provided.
That said, since the beginning they’ve known the acreage could be developed as a neighborhood similar to their own. It just never happened, thanks to a flooded housing market and the fact that the land had been overpriced from the get-go.

CITY COUNCIL members have a lot to prove to Iola citizens for the decision to rezone the property. They’ll need to hold the reins tight as the project develops, ensuring every necessary hoop is held high.
We all want to be able to say in hindsight their decision had merit and is to Iola’s advantage.

— Susan Lynn

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